Typepad Import Image

Alien Skin’s Image Doctor 2, ($200, direct) is an easy-to-use plug-in for making simple corrections to common photographic problems. The program offers five basic operations:

Dust and Scratch Remover
What it does: Removes both small and large objects, as well as scratches in background of images.
How it worked: Removing large objects from simple backgrounds was easy. With more complex images, I was less successful— the area to be removed became a big mishmash of other things in the photo.

Blemish Concealer
What it does: Easily removes, moles, acne, stains and simple wrinkles.
How it worked: Don’t expect to erase years from a face, the concealer tends to blur the area of the wrinkle. You can adjust the intensity of the strength of the correction, but too much becomes a problem, so it’s best to stick with simple fixes in smaller areas.
JPEG Repair**
What it does: Can minimize digital noise or add grain to give your images a more film-like feel.
How it worked: I ran some images with digital noise through and didn’t see obvious results. In general most of the jpeg repairs result from a blurring of the image. This is a good feature to use with older, damaged photos.
Skin smoother**
What it does: Works well to minimize wrinkles or rough skin by adjusting the amount of smoothing.
How it worked: Use the preview window on an enlarged section to get the best results.

Smart Fill
What it does: For simple fill situations such as a picture rotated and then cropped with a small area left blank, this option filled in the area perfectly.
How it worked: No need to clone to fill the space, which saved time, this feature would also work with photos that have been damaged.

Image Doctor 2 works with Adobe Photoshop CS2 or later, Elements 4(Macintosh) or later, Elements 5 (Windows) or later, Corel Paint Pro Photo X2, or Adobe Fireworks CS3 (live effects not supported).

—Melissa Macatee
Contributing Blogger